FBI: Violent crime drops for fourth year in a row

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX – Newly released numbers from the FBI show that violent crime dropped once again in 2010. Property crime was also down.

The preliminary statistics were released Monday morning, and overall, the news seemed to be positive.

Source: FBI.gov

When compared to data from 2009, the 2010 information showed a 5.5 percent decrease in the number of violent crimes reported, as well as a 2.8 percent drop in reported property crime.

The information in the FBI’s Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report for 2010 comes from more than 13,000 law-enforcement agencies throughout the country. The crimes included are murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.

The national murder rated declined 4.4 percent and forcible rape dropped 4.2 when compared with the numbers from the 2009 report. While the largest overall decline in violent crime – 7.5 percent -- was seen in the South, the West showed a significant decrease of 5.8 percent.

According to the report, cities of all populations saw decreases in violent crime.

Those decreases were especially pronounced in small cities. In those cities with populations of less than 10,000, the number of reported murders dropped more than 25 percent.

The 2010 numbers, however, did not herald positive news across the board.

While there was a decrease in violent crime overall, cities with populations between 250,000 and 499,999 saw a jump of 3 percent in the murder rate. Cities with populations between 500,000 and 999,999 had an increase of nearly 2 percent in forcible rape.

Crime data submitted from Phoenix, with its population of more than 1.5 million, showed a total of 8,730 violent crimes in 2009. The number dropped to 8,002 in 2010. The number of reported murders dropped slightly – from 122 to 117 -- while the number of reported forcible rapes stayed flat at 522. The number of property crime incidents dropped from 65,617 in 2009 to 61,384 in 2010.

Complete figures for 2010 will be released this fall in the full Crime in the United States report.
(Related: Crime in the United States 2009)